Takeout Tuesday: Frankie’s Pizza in New Hope
In nearly every town in America, there’s a restaurant that serves as a home away from home.
For Larry and Barbara Ann Gallagher, Frankie’s Chicago Style Bar & Restaurant in New Hope fits that description.
“We come here and everybody knows your name, you know like on ‘Cheers,’” said Larry Gallagher, a customer from Crystal.
Frankie’s is a neighborhood staple that’s famous for serving up authentic, Chicago-style pizza for the last 30 years.
“Well pizza counts for about half of our menu sales, maybe just a little over that,” said Kent Garbers, the general manager of Frankie’s. “We also do some other items like Chicago dogs, we also do Italian beef sandwiches that we roast in house here.”
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Garbers says they’re down in sales from previous years. The dining room capacity is at 50 percent, and they’ve had to close their banquet room for the time being.
“No more birthday parties, no more graduation parties, and all the different events that we had back there,” Garbers said.
But the mindset at Frankie’s is that “they’ve got this.” It certainly helps that the food on their menu translates well for takeout, so they had all the infrastructure in place before COVID hit.
“Pizza does really well with takeout,” Garbers said. “A lot of the restaurants called me, friends in the industry that were saying, how do we get started in takeout? And it’s not just packaging and engineering your menu for that, you also need the phone system that can handle it, online order, our point of sale system. All of that comes together to be able to handle that system.”
Cheese prices on the rise
If dealing with COVID-restrictions wasn’t enough, they also have to worry about fluctuating prices of cheese.
“With schools not being in operation so much, it changes the dairy market a lot, and that’s always been an impact this time of year,” Garbers said. “Typically we see a price bump up on that. Commercial production of a lot of products that restaurants have used have been changed or shut down. That all impacts it all.”
Garbers says cheese prices are up about 40 percent from this time last year.
“We definitely have to eat the cost right now,” he said. “Down the road we may have to adjust prices to suit it, but we’ll kind of monitor the market as it goes.”
The good news is that for a lot of people, the food on their menu is hard to resist.
“Sometimes we have pizza, sometimes we have one of the sandwiches, and sometimes we have ravioli,” Gallagher said.
So as long as they have loyal customers with a craving for carbs, this neighborhood favorite will weather the pandemic storm.
“The community has carried us through,” Garbers said. “I know that’s gonna continue.”